A letter of approval from the HSE has been issued for the construction of a new 60 bed modular unit at University Hospital Limerick.
UL Hospitals Group have been told by the HSE to commence excavation works having granted €2 million for this phase of the project. A total of €19m is required for its completion.
There was widespread frustration last month when it was announced the unit would not be open in time for the 2019 winter season and led the Independent TD, Dr. Michael Harty supporting Sinn Féin’s failed no confidence motion in Minister for Health Simon Harris. June 2020 has been set as the target for opening the UHL facility plans for which were first declared by Harris last November.
Fine Gael TD, Joe Carey told The Clare Echo that he has raised the issue “repeatedly” with Minister Harris “on the floor of Dáil Éireann and in private meetings with him and his officials. The lack of bed capacity in the Mid West is the fundamental issue which contributes to the large volumes of patients waiting on trolleys at UHL”. He confirmed that another 96 bed unit is in the planning stage.
“This project is of critical importance to healthcare provision in the mid-west region, servicing counties Clare, Limerick and north Tipperary, as it will improve patient flow throughout the hospital, patient comfort, patient safety, privacy and patient dignity,” Deputy Carey added.
Senator Kieran O’Donnell outlined, “Now that the money is available, the HSE locally will put in a commencement notice with the Local Authority. This has a 14-day notice period, so works can’t commence physically before mid-March but they will commence then”.